Domestic violence (DV) charges are a common occurrence in Missouri and throughout the United States. Although many claims of DV are valid and need to be taken seriously, false claims are not uncommon.

While a significant majority (85%) of domestic violence claims are against men, women are not immune from these charges. When it comes to domestic violence, these are very serious situations. A conviction could result in loss of your right to see your own children and severe criminal penalties.

The two scenarios

These are the two most common scenarios in which false claims of domestic violence arise:

  1. A spouse trying to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings

In this instance, one spouse will try to leverage a domestic violence claim to gain an advantage in a custody battle pursuant to a divorce. When one of the spouses is in the middle of a domestic violence case or has a restraining order out, the family law court will be less likely to be favorable regarding custody, visitation and other factors surrounding the divorce.

To falsify a claim, a spouse will either capitalize on a family argument and exaggerate the events or fabricate the claim completely. Missouri does not require actual physical violence for a fourth degree Domestic Assault charge. The threat of harm and forced extended isolation can count as domestic violence. Since these infractions are much harder to prove than actual physical violence, there is a lot of gray area for someone to exploit when fabricating or exaggerating a domestic incident.

  1. An intrusive neighbor

Arguments and family tension are not uncommon for most families. Incidents that arise are often worse than they can sound from the outside. It is common for a neighbor or someone else to hear or see what looks like a domestic violence situation and, in an effort to be the good Samaritan, call the police.

Although the police are not required to make an arrest with every DV call, police are not going to take this type of call lightly. They will investigate and probably err on the side of caution.

How to protect yourself

If you have been charged with DV, you need to fight these charges aggressively. With all that is at stake, you need to work with an experienced team of domestic violence defense attorneys who will protect your interests and your future.